Municipalities in Canada have an urgent need for water and wastewater infrastructure, but face significant obstacles in acquiring financing to get the job done quickly and efficiently. This week, the City of Wetaskiwin secured financing for the construction of their new wastewater treatment plant, due for completion in December 2023. Financing was raised under
Graham’s new Municipal Asset Partnership (MAP) framework.
Through the partnership, the City of Wetaskiwin and Graham have reduced the financial burden of the project through cost-efficient private financing—combined with a $12.9 million Alberta Provincial Grant—to fund the $53 million project. With project development complete and financing secured, construction will commence May 2022.
Sue Howard, City Manager from the City of Wetaskiwin explains: “With regulatory requirements around wastewater treatment facilities becoming more stringent, we had to be innovative to cover the cost of the mandated wastewater treatment plant upgrade with the grant funding we had available. Graham’s new approach allowed us to secure all the financing we needed while ensuring financial flexibility remained for other municipal priorities. Additionally, we have an active role in the entire process as an equal partner.”
Graham’s MAP is an innovative framework customized for any size of project, structured in a way that preserves municipal borrowing limits and keeps cash flow strong. It also allows Wetaskiwin to retain control of the facility and future revenue streams.
Grenville Riley, Managing Director of Concessions at Graham adds, ”Municipalities should not have to give up control of their utility assets to the private sector in order to finance vital infrastructure projects. Through Graham’s Municipal Asset Partnership, municipalities now have an equitable solution available to ensure regulatory compliance while maintaining control of their infrastructure.”
Graham’s utilization of Green Bonds to finance the project provides a clear indication to the public that the project will have demonstrable positive impacts on the local environment. The Green Bond designation can only be achieved by projects that meet stringent evaluation criteria, maintain robust reporting practices, and demonstrate the achievement of defined environmental objectives.
The City of Wetaskiwin selected Graham and Aquatera as a business partnership to provide construction, financing, and long-term operations and maintenance services, while Associated Engineering is providing the design services for the new facility.
Wetaskiwin announces funding for critical infrastructure upgrades:
The Brownfield retrofit allows for rehabilitation of the existing facility and
construction of a new post-lagoon treatment system
● Construction value of approximately $53M
● Completion December 2023
● Project delivered by Graham under a new, innovative framework for Early
Contractor Involvement and financing
● Graham’s MAP framework addresses several challenges, including:
Urgent need for large capital project & private-sector financing solution
Need to preserve municipal debt capacity
Full retention of municipal control and long-term economic benefit
● Operations and maintenance will be conducted by Aquatera
● Designer: Associated Engineering